News

Don & Low enters synthetic grass yarn market August 10 2017

Don & Low, a Scottish technical textiles manufacturer, has announced the official completion and start-up of its brand-new synthetic grass line, after receiving Board Approval to make this substantial investment at the end of 2016.

“Working collaboratively with our raw materials and machine partners, as well as multiple years of extrusion and manufacturing experience, has meant we have some very exciting grass developments to bring to the demanding and performance driven artificial grass market,” said Jacki Stephen, Don & Low Product Development Technologist.

The investment will allow for 3,500 tonnes of grass yarn production capacity for 2018 alone, with potential for further investment and expansion in 2019/2020. Don & Low aims to utilise this investment by taking synthetic grass yarn technology to the next level and leverage its technical leadership position in other markets to immediately deliver enhanced yarn characteristics, for the benefit of the entire synthetic turf industry.

According to the manufacturer, this new investment has enabled Don & Low to create a unique and pioneering range of grass yarns, which is expected to exceed even the toughest industry expectations, and be a step ahead of current market offerings.

The new addition will also help Don & Low meet the increasing demands of the synthetic turf industry to provide highly durable, resilient and skin-friendly yarns for a variety of sports and landscape applications.

“As a result of this new venture, Don & Low has now become the only independent grass yarn manufacturer in the UK and is one of the few remaining independent grass yarn manufacturers globally. This will allow us to work with many different customers and business partners, while maintaining the quality and excellence of our products,” commented Mark Newstead, Don & Low Managing Director.

The product range will be officially launched at this year’s FSB Exhibition, taking place from 7-10 October, in Cologne.


Why Jessica Alba Loves Artificial Grass April 13 2016

Jessica Alba is a well-known actress, inspirational model and a driven businesswoman. Alba has been working as an actress since she was 11 years old, when an agent noticed her at an acting class. Since then, at the young age of 11, Jessica Alba has stormed the filming industry and become a household name. Even though Alba’s life is publicised and she is constantly followed by the paparazzi, not many people know her passion for design and her love for the environment.

Having purchased a home in Beverly Hills, California with her husband and pets, Alba wanted to change her garden to an eco friendly and safe place before she gave birth to her first child; Honor. Alba took the time to meet with a designer so she could create the perfect garden for her future family in a certain amount of time.

Since Alba turned her garden eco friendly, California since then have implemented a mandatory water restriction. The water restriction only allows people to water their grass at certain times of the day. As a result, everybody’s lawn turned brown and the people who had green lawns were fined for using too much water.

Alba mostly turned her lawn to artificial grass in order to protect the health of her children and pets; residents in California have since followed her lead. In order to prevent being fined, residents have also opted for artificial grass; purely for the fact they want a garden that looks green all year round without having to use water.

It seems as though Alba has set a trend and her love for the environment and the safety of her children and pets has changed people’s views relating to artificial grass. People realise that artificial grass is not only visually attractive, maintenance free and safer for animals and children, but it is also friendly for the environment.

Jessica Alba is extremely pleased with the results of her artificial lawn, and her animals and children can now play outside on an eco friendly surface.


Grass firm is a growing success October 08 2014

Easigrass North East is a leading installer of artificial grass products for home and commercial use.

Hebburn-born John Devlin bought into the Easigrass franchise early last year after previously working in the paving industry.

Mr Devlin, 33, was looking for a new challenge, after being involved in the landscaping sector since the age of 18.

Now his artificial grass franchise business employs nine people – including five from his native Hebburn – and he plans to further boost the workforce to 12 by next January.

He said: “The first six months saw us having to grow faster than was initially planned and more Easigrass teams were brought in and trained with the Easigrass methods.”

The company’s work portfolio includes everything from domestic gardens to supplying trade customers, plus bigger commercial projects, such as work at the MetroCentre, Gateshead.

Last year was busier than expected and continued growth is predicted in 2015.

Mr Devlin added: “2014 has continued in the same vein, with smaller displays now appearing in garden centres around the North East, with a fantastic spring and summer display in the house and garden section at John Lewis, in Eldon Square, Newcastle.”

Next year is set to be even more successful for Easigrass North East, including the launch of the North of England’s first artificial grass showroom. Mr Devlin said that new apprentices will be recruited in January, as part of the company’s expansion plans, which include a new base in Gateshead.


Artificial Turf war in North End comes to an end for now September 23 2014

BOISE, Idaho -- A heated debate over artificial grass in the North End has come to an end, at least for now.

Ed and and Jenn Vining live on 16th Street in the North End Historic District. During an extensive renovation on the home four months ago, they installed the turf, at a cost around $20,000, without knowing it was against a city ordinance.

"I understand people's concerns wanting to maintain the character of the neighborhood," said Matthew Bullard, who lives next door to the Vining family.

Bullard adds that in this case, most neighbors don't have a problem with the artificial turf because it looks like real grass.

"Especially with the leaf litter it's really hard to tell," said Bullard. "Even when you walk by it's hard to tell and I think it looks good."

At Boise City Hall members of the Historic Preservation Commission voiced some concerns Monday night, including possible unknown environmental impacts of the turf and the length of a proposed trial period of 10 years.

After hearing from supporters and no one coming to the podium against the turf, commission members voted unanimously on a three year trial period.

"It's a limited victory," said Ed Vining.

The city will monitor the yard to make sure it fares well through the seasons and doesn't take away any of the character of the historic North End.

"We weren't trying to put down blue turf," said Vining. "We chose it because it looks normal. Having the support of the neighbors was critical for our peace of mind and the board."

Vining says he's already noticed a difference in the severity of his daughter's allergies, which was the main reason they wanted the artificial grass. He's glad the fight has been put to rest for at least a few years.


Arlington's new artificial playing surface leaves just one grass field in Wesco September 02 2014

The growth in popularity of the spread offense among Snohomish County football teams in recent years wouldn't have been possible if not for the evolution of the surfaces those teams play on. In the late 1990s, most of the area's high school teams ran and tackled on grass, a surface that dramatically wears down over the course of a season.

 

“If you would have come to a game at Everett Memorial Stadium 18 years ago, by week seven, eight and nine from hash mark to hash mark, it was mud,” said Jackson head coach Joel Vincent, who was an assistant coach in 1997. “There was no grass. When you get field conditions like that, you can be the best spread team on earth, and you can have the best athletes on earth, but you can't run a spread offense on a field like that. You just can't do it.”

 

The goal of a spread offense is to create space where skilled offensive players can utilize their speed and quickness, then get them the ball, usually via a quick pass. A muddy field tends to neutralize a team's speed.

 

And according to The Herald's 1997 All-Area Defensive Player of the Year, Everett's Corey Gunnerson, not only was the field at Everett Memorial muddy, it wasn't even level.

 

“It used to be if you stood on one sideline you couldn't see the other sideline because it had so much of an arch in it,” he said. “With the turf field, it's flat and the grip is there. I think it levels it out a little more and allows for more speed.”

 

Grass fields started disappearing around the time this year's seniors were born, but it's taken their entire lifetimes for grass to become nearly extinct at Wesco stadiums. With Arlington's switch to turf this fall, Stanwood remains the only school that plays its home games on a grass surface.

 

When offenses were run-dominant, playing on grass wasn't a big issue because power and strength were arguably more important than speed. The spread offense changed all that.

 

“The part that gets chewed up is between the hashes, which is where the ball is every time,” Gunnerson said. “When you're running the old-school wing-T, it's not as big of a deal because your quarterback is taking two steps and you're handing the ball off, or you're pitching it to the outside and you can get to the clean grass and actually get some speed.”

 

Teams that wanted to pass on chewed up grass surfaces had to improvise. Former Arlington quarterback Scott Faries, The Herald's All-Area Offensive Player of the Year in 1997, recalls a late-season game at Stanwood on a rainy, muddy night where his team needed a big play.

 

“There was no place (to run) except one strip of grass which ran like 75 yards down the field,” Faries said. “We were on about (our own) 20-yard-line and my coach looked at me and said, ‘Go for it.' So I looked at my wide receiver in the huddle and I said, ‘See that strip of grass. I want you to line up on that and we're just going to run straight down (the strip of grass) because there is only mud everywhere else.' That's the only place you could get traction.” The play resulted in a touchdown, Faries said.

 

Stanwood and whatever team it hosts for its home games are the only Wesco schools that have to contend with a muddy surface on Friday nights, but practice is another story. Jackson and Cascade, for example, both practice on grass fields.

 

“Our field at Jackson High School, by mid-October on, is difficult,” Vincent said. “There's usually standing water, there's mud, and we're trying to practice our spread stuff. We do the best we can because we know on Friday that we're going to get a good surface to run it, but it doesn't mean that running practice is easy.”

Carrollton High School switches to artificial turf August 27 2014

After a decade of existence, Community Field is undergoing a changeover from grass to an artificial playing surface.
Taking pledges from local individuals and businesses, Carrollton Exempted Village Board of Education officials were able to line up financing to pay for an AstroTurf surface.
A Cleveland-area vendor, Sports Contracting Group, is installing the artificial turf, and it is expected to be ready for the Carrollton High School Warriors’ home opener Sept. 5 against Edison High School.
“Money was raised in about a month,” Athletic Director Mark Spears said. “We are financing it. We have pledges from private individuals and businesses in the community. We have it (loan) set up for 10 years. I think we will pay it off in seven.”
The turf is costing about $520,000.“It is going to be less expensive to maintain,” Spears said. “It is going to provide an opportunity for more kids to play. And it is another practice field.”
Other than the high school varsity football team, others expected to use the stadium include the freshman and middle school teams, soccer teams and various community-sponsored youth football leagues. With a seating capacity of 3,900, the stadium sits just south of Carrollton at the school system administration campus in the 200 block of Scio Road (State Route 332).
“The surface fiber is polyethylene,” said Justen Stickley, a sales representative for Sports Contracting Group of Brecksville. “Each blade of grass is 2.25 inches tall. Below the surface is a nylon fiber called a root zone. Putting a synthetic surface in there basically eliminates the surface wear that natural grass would take. With a synthetic surface you are not dealing with the same natural elements.”
Sports Contracting Group also installed an artificial turf for Jackson High School’s football stadium. And for those most affected by the artificial turf, there is a safety factor with having a consistently level surface, according to head football coach Eric McCort.“The synthetic turf, it helps reduce injuries,” McCort said.

Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park to get new synthetic grass soccer fields July 14 2014

SHERMAN OAKS — Before each soccer game at Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park, players and their parents walk its scruffy fields to clear rocks and pebbles from its dusty pitch.

But the Sherman Oaks “rock walks” soon will be a stroll of the past after an official groundbreaking Saturday for three new synthetic soccer fields.

“It’s outstanding,” said Josh Gertler, 43, of Sherman Oaks watching his 9-year-old son Nicolas block an American Youth Soccer Organization shot on goal. “This community has been playing on rock-strewn dirt that has produced dust clouds for many years.

 

“The fake grass should be a dramatic improvement.”

At the urging of Councilman Tom LaBonge, the city will convert three faded fields into $2.7 million in artificial turf in the middle of the popular sports complex. Soccer players should be able to dribble across the plastic grass as early as next June, officials say.

“It’s not just the millions of gallons of water saved,” said LaBonge, whose latest district includes the park. “It’s the smiles of young people who will play on the best soccer fields in the San Fernando Valley.”

 

An estimated 150 officials and residents gathered at the morning groundbreaking to herald a long-needed renovation of three existing soccer fields now heavily used by children and adults.

The synthetic turf, now in use at 21 fields across Los Angeles, will save on water, save on maintenance and can provide safe fields for soccer athletes year round, officials say. It’s expected to last 10 years.

To further improve the park, the city will pave new walkways to the newly fenced fields for easier access from its parking lot. It will also build covered benches for soccer moms and dads and their kids, where players can catch some shade and cool off.

 

An infrastructure will be built for future lighting.

“No more rocks,” declared Ramon Barajas, assistant general manager for the Department of Recreation and Parks, who grew up near Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park and learned to swim there. “After this construction, this will be the best soccer complex in the Valley, if not Los Angeles.”

It was a couple of years ago that LaBonge, while hiking different corners of his newly redrawn district, took a gander at the Sherman Oaks fields. He said he saw 700 kids playing on nubs of grass and bare dirt. He then spoke with AYSO officials, who told him referees and players sprained their ankles on the deteriorating fields.

 

So he directed his chief of staff, Carolyn Ramsay to locate $2.7 million in so-called Quimby funds from developers’ fees to fix it.

“It’s badly needed,” LaBonge said. “It’s used so much it’s unsafe because you can’t maintain it.”

The project will add two full-sized and one small synthetic turf soccer field next to the Little League fields at Magnolia Boulevard and Tyrone Avenue. Its 180,000 square feet of fake grass will save an estimated 8 million gallons a year of water — enough to supply 25 families of four, parks officials said. It’ll also save on fertilizer and other costs to growing real grass.

 

For Gertler, who has sat along the dusty fields for seven years where his eldest son, Alex, also played, the clean fields will be a godsend.

“The only downside of the new fields will be for my carwash owner,” he said, “ who’d going to see drastically less income on Saturday mornings after soccer games.”


Franklin County considering artificial turf June 05 2014

here was a lone groundskeeper weaving between the wandering, watery arms of the sprinkler system at Cy Dillon Stadium on Thursday.

Elton Law Jr. was beginning to prepare Fred Brown Field, at Franklin County High School, for the graduation ceremony set to be held there today. With a can of spray paint, he marked off points along the irrigation system that shouldn’t be punctured with any of the stage equipment — a miscue that would certainly end the field’s abilities to host the ceremony.

Even his efforts, though, may not be enough. That’s why, each year, as a stage and a tent and an army of chairs are deployed on the field before graduation, an identical effort is waged inside, in the school’s gym. Significant rainfall in the two to three days prior to graduation could end the field’s chance to play host, even if it’s bright and sunny when “Pomp and Circumstance” is played.

“They’ll set up the stadium with a gazillion chairs,” said Bradley Lang, the high school’s junior varsity soccer coach. “And then they’ll do the exact same thing in the gym.”

Lang is part of a committee of parents and coaches interested in the future of Franklin County High School athletics that has come together to voice concerns about the field. Over the past few weeks, this committee has been gathering signatures on a petition aimed at installing turf in the stadium.

A synthetic surface, they say, would allow Franklin County to keep up with the contemporary pace of high school sports and the commerce that can surround them.

Graduation will be their first chance to come face-to-face with a large group of the stakeholders — students, student-athletes, local business owners. Don Barber, who started Franklin County’s lacrosse program alongside his wife, is one of the committee members leading the push, which they plan to take to the school board next month.

“I think very few people realize how little we use this field,” Barber said.

Barber said the field currently holds about 100 events per year, a designation that includes practices, games and other marks on the calendar, such as band events that can come with noticeable economic windfalls for the county. Other high schools in the Roanoke area, such as Salem High School and Roanoke’s Patrick Henry High School, use their fields more than 300 times a year, according to the committee.

The limitations in Franklin County, they say, are the unfortunate reality of a natural grass field.

The groundskeeper could do nothing about the churning gray skies overhead Thursday, no way to tell whether they would send the field into a muddy period of unsuitability or spare it, allowing it to host a send-off for the students who have spent four years competing between its boundaries or cheering from its sidelines.

It’s not a new development, and there’s nothing wrong with the close-trimmed grass that fills the area between two concrete grandstands behind the state’s largest high school west of Richmond, but the demands placed upon it have grown more rugged and more numerous, while that particular rectangle of earth has simply grown tired.

“We have to protect our field,” Barber said. “If we overuse it, we’ll lose it.”

The current campaign began after a conversation with Chris Jones, the high school’s varsity football coach. County officials considered replacing the field with turf in 2010, at which point the project was in the five-year capital plan. But they decided against it because of budgetary concerns, upgrading only the nearby track and field areas.

Money will again be a hurdle, Barber admits. In preparing for the campaign, the committee solicited five estimates — “ballpark figures,” he quipped — for the project. It will likely cost about $800,000, a price tag similar to the one that scared off officials five years ago.

But the committee, Lang said, hopes to emphasize the savings the county could see in maintenance costs. Law, the groundskeeper who has been at the school for 12 years, noted the difference in keeping up with a synthetic field.

“Turf would mean no irrigation, no mowing, no paint, and no insects to worry about,” he said.

And, of course, rain wouldn’t end hopes of playing a game, as it did so often for Lang’s JV soccer team last season.

“We were more of an indoor soccer team,” he said, “Just because it was bad weather.”

Barber also touted the flip side of the evolution that has strained the field. While many high school sports are now year-round commitments — thanks to a VHSL rule change — they are also constant opportunities to lure out-of-town competitors, who will eat in Rocky Mount restaurants and sometimes stay in local hotels.

In contrast, Barber said, Franklin County athletes often shuttle to Roanoke-area schools for out-of-season practices and tournaments.

“It’s a lot of money they’re generating,” he said of those out-of-town events. “We can do a lot of them — the band competitions, youth programs, sandlot football fundraisers. We’re missing out. We just don’t get the number of events, and we can’t.”


Fake grass on green is fine by me! May 12 2014

THE chairman of Bourton Parish Council has defended a patch of fake grass laid on part of the village green, after some residents said it has aged.

As previously reported, parish councillors voted in favour of testing the artificial grass, after their former vicechairman Richard Johnes pointed out some of the patches were looking threadbare in places due to being trampled by tourists.

The 30-square metre patch turf, made by Easigrass, was installed last December on one of the verges between the path and the river which had been wearing away. The artificial grass is designed to be more hard-wearing and was installed to help the council cut down on its repair costs as it is likely to last for 10 years before it needs replacing.

But councillor Tim Faulkner, vice-chairman of Bourton Parish Council, told members at last Wednesday’s meeting that he had received one of two adverse comments now the grass had aged a bit. “In the event we consider spending some more money in that direction, we want to know it works long term,” he said.

Clerk Sue Cretney added: “It does need maintenance.” But speaking after the meeting, chairman Bryan Sumner defended the artificial turf.

“I think it’s wonderful,” he said. “I don’t think it’s aged at all. It’s just as it was when it was laid down. There is no problem at all with it. It might need sprucing up.

“With artificial grass you brush sand into it to spruce up the fronds of the grass. I think it’s a success but we had no plans to lay anymore.

“That was what we did as a trial piece, we don’t intend to extend it. Just because there’s a couple of residents who may think it’s aged – in my opinion it’s wonderful.”


Drought forces Texas city to turn to toilets for tap water May 08 2014

Desperate drought conditions in parts of bone-dry Texas have called for desperate measures.

Residents of Wichita Falls, population 100,000, fear they will run out of water within two years. So city officials found a way to flush away their worries.

The city has built a new 13-mile pipeline connecting its waste treatment plant directly to a second facility that purifies drinking water. That means treated wastewater — not just from toilets, but from sinks, bathtubs and dishwashers — will no longer be released down river as before. Instead, it will soon flow out of household faucets.

"The water that's coming in to the water treatment plant has already been treated once at the wastewater plant. It's not receiving raw, untreated sewage,” Daniel Nix of Wichita Falls Public Works told NBC's Gabe Gutierrez.

But some people are calling the process “toilet to tap” and have already switched to bottled water.

"Just the very thought that you might be drinking your own wastewater is never comforting,” said Wichita Falls resident Tim McMillin.

Widespread drought has changed the way the nation thinks about water. Other areas, including Orange County, Calif., have added some treated wastewater to some of their drinking supply.

But the percentage being used in Wichita Falls, about half of the city’s tap water, will be the highest in the country.

"We don’t have any other options,” said resident Julie Spence, owner of Gidget’s Sandwich Shop.

City officials said the Texas Department of Environmental Quality expects to finish its testing process within the next 30 days.

Darron Leiker, Wichita Falls city manager, expressed confidence that everything will clear all safety criteria.

“It will meet or exceed all state and federal drinking standards,” he said.